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Published on 28 Sep 2011
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King Lear thur29 7:30 trinity college quad
Focus question for Thursday
Three views of imagination:
Theseus at 5.1.2 -22,
Bottom at 4.1.197-211,
Puck and Oberon at 5.2.1-52
How do they relate to each other, and to the play as a whole? Why has Shakespeare placed
them in this order?
"Dreams construct a situation out of these (ideas in waking life); they represent an event
which is actually happening... We appear not to think but to experience." (Freud,
Interpretation of Dreams)
Order and hierarchy
Coming together as husband and wife = coming together as society
- Theseus "end" the play, but then Puck entering with a broom
Pro-hierarchy view of AMND, importance of hierarchy, insert these values to the audience
- everything tied up at the end of the play
- Titania clashing - world is ending (Act 2 Scene1)
- Hermia has to listen to his father. Theseus said, you must obey your parents.
- Pyramus and Thisby (play with in a play) - tragic ending as they did not obey their parents.
(what will happen to Hermia and Lysender then?)
- the universe is arranged by hierarchy (God, angels, solar system), ("cast list" System of
social hierarchy order vs Important role to minor role)
- Athens (location) -> woods -> Athens (city to nature), civilization to wilderness, Act 1 scene
1 - Hermia: Athens as paradise, leaving reason behind when we enter the forest. 193 a2s1-
wood within this wood - mad, wild, loony (lunatic are thought to be under the spell of the moon
- comes from the moon, influence of the moon), move away from daylight, ruled by the moon.
Sun - bringing reasons
- creatures in the forest - snakes. A2s1- there the snake throws her enamell’d skin. A2s2-You
spotted snakes with double tongue - negative reference. a3s2 - Could not a worm, an adder,
do so much?
An adder did it! for with doubler tongue Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung. - adder-
poisonous snake. Hang off, thou cat, thou bur! Vile thing, let loose;Or I will shake thee from
me like a serpent!
A3s2 - look back to childhood, everything seems to fall apart. All school-days friendship,
childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Sonnet 43 - eyes close vision
- dreams can show you things that daylight cannot show
what's wrong with Athens - Theseus and Hippolyta 's relationship -A1s1. Flaws in civilization.
Helena and Hermia's comparison of social statutes. Higher class - verses. Lower class -
prose (don't know how to put things together)
positive elements of the forest experience - (google: frosted midnight). Moon as a symbol of
imaginations, beyond reason, intuition, dreams. Relate to sonnet 43.
THE. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace. Four happy days bring in
Another moon; but O, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young man’s revenue.
A good persuasion; therefore hear me, Hermia:
I have a widow aunt, a dowager,
Of great revenue, and she hath no child.
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
Dowager = moon (in both case)
Moon is a much better place to be. Into a world of songs.
Act4s1-line100 - stage symbol of harmony, there is order that seems to raise up in the forrest.
Image of snake - snake like the moon, symbol of eternity (source of immortality)
Night - subconscious
Structural of ASND - a circle, find solutions of problems from dreams (difficulty are
Pensee, the flower poison- one's own thought, love - mind
Sonnet 116 - time and love. Time is the great enemy, yet love is a weapo
n to win time. Immorality through having children. Marriage is the metaphor for love will bear
AMND- impression of order in opening scene - references to the destruction of time. Funeral
and death. Line 142. Going to the theatre - forget the boundary of time. Woods - figures that
don't die, immoral, round about (dancing but not walking), (poetry - rhyming cycle, don't have
to leave the sound behind, it'll come around again), bring time with them.
Not sure who you are, when you become somebody else - cannot tell who is who, like
Lysender and Dymetrious. Identity and self is liberated, beyond self, in the world of night and
dreams. A2s2- Hermia- crawling serpent, describing their relationshp. Oh is it all forgot, all
schooldays friendship, childhood innocence?
Marriage - link both the woods and Athens together
Conception of his art - drama as a kind of marriage, drama is a collaboration of imagination
and the real world. Bring the moon with you
the play at the end - an opportunity to fused love and reason
Apprehend and comprehend a5s1
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
- apprehand = grasped something, cause intuitive response. Comprehend=Know a thing,
uses reason
Play within a play - Comic forces
Moon in the play - lantern as moon. Terrors of the woods, we recognize the connection of
hermia relationship and the play, but the characters are blinded they don't know the
Perceived gap of that happening on stage an on the page - subconscious word of audience,
but not bring in the things physically.
Apollo and dyOnasis- impulse to order and impulse to transcent order. Apprehend and
- dynasts festival outside Athens -recognize both of these aspects